By Drew Champlin, al.com:
Ronnie Harrison has shined as a quarterback throughout his playing days and he’s been listed on recruiting sites as an athlete for the past couple of years. That’s only natural, given that he’s also played in the secondary. As good as he’s been at quarterback for Florida State University School in Tallahassee, Harrison knows his future at the college level lies on defense. That’s where he’ll play for Alabama, where he verbally committed on Tuesday.
By MARQ BURNETT, ledger-enquirer.com:
Nick Saban has tried to quiet the rumblings, but so far, he’s been unsuccessful. Dating back to when the transfer rumors began to swirl, the media, fans and everyone else tabbed Jacob Coker as the next Crimson Tide quarterback. This, despite the fact there is still an active competition for the right to replace three-year starter AJ McCarron. “That’s really not internally the perception by me, our staff or our players,” Saban said. “Jake Coker has the opportunity to come in and compete for the position. Blake Sims has been competing for the position — really did a pretty good job in the spring. (He) didn’t play great in the spring game, but we really didn’t do the things that he’s capable of doing. So there’s going to be a competition there, as well as some of the younger players will be involved in that competition.”
From The Jackson Sun:
The Southeastern Conference has become the most popular jumping-off point for underclassmen looking for a head start on NFL careers, creating more spots to fill around the league with preseason camps approaching. No league has had nearly as many players leaving early to pursue NFL careers over the past eight years, and LSU has had the most of any program two years running. “We do lead college football in three-and-outs,” Tigers coach Les Miles said. It’s not a distinction coaches particularly covet — except perhaps to juice the sales pitch to teenage recruits already dreaming of their first NFL paycheck.
By Cliff Kirkpatrick, Montgomery Advertiser:
Nick Saban shocked the college football world in the winter when he hired Lane Kiffin as his offensive coordinator. The Alabama coach created a powder keg with the personalities. Saban wouldn’t admit it at the time, but he can now after some time together. Hiring Kiffin was a big gamble. He was a former head coach at Tennessee and Southern California. Kiffin was young and his star was rising, and even had a stint in the NFL as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin proved to be head strong and controversial along the way. In a way, he’s similar to Saban.
By Bill DiFilippo, College Spun:
The picture of Nick Saban wearing a Luigi hat finally has a corresponding video, and like the picture, the video is pretty great. Saban joined ESPN’s Colin Cowherd for “Cage Confessionals,” Cowherd’s series where he interviews people inside of a cage as part of the show Colin’s New Football Show. His interview with Saban was particularly great, as it showed a side of Saban that people rarely see: a funny, down-to-earth guy who was afraid of Santa Claus as a child.
By Andrew Holleran, :
Nick Saban isn’t a huge fan of fast-paced offenses that never substitute. They take the defensive coaches out of the game, the Alabama coach, known for his defensive prowess, said at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. last week.
By Andrew Gribble, al.com:
Alabama is sticking with what works for its annual Fan Day. That means the first Sunday of August (Aug. 3) will once again be the day for fans to watch an entire Crimson Tide practice and collect some autographs after the team wraps up for the day at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
By Marc Torrence, Bleacher Report:
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what the biggest story of Alabama’s offseason was. It wasn’t coach Nick Saban’s contract extension and raise. It wasn’t cornerback Eddie Jackson having major knee surgery that will keep him out indefinitely. It wasn’t even quarterback Jacob Coker transferring in from Florida State, giving the Crimson Tide a bonafide option under center after AJ McCarron’s departure. (Saban wearing a Luigi hat was pretty close, though.) No, Alabama’s biggest offseason story was, unquestionably, Saban hiring former Tennessee and USC coach Lane Kiffin to be his offensive coordinator.
By Joseph Karbousky, examiner.com:
With August right around the corner, it is just a matter of time before the 2014 college football season kicks-off and the chase for this year’s NCAA Championship begins. With the BCS system finally behind us, and a new playoff format intact for the 2014 campaign, fans can’t wait for this season to get underway. According to a Fansided report on July 24, the defending champion Florida State Seminoles along with the Alabama Crimson Tide are the early favorites to win this season’s title. Alabama the favorite? Really? The Tide have rolled their way to winning three of the last five championships, however, making them the favorites to win it this season after losing a stud QB in AJ Mccarron seems like a stretch.